The National Junior College Athletic Association is partnering with Mobile, AL-based Panhandle Sports Broadcasting (PSB) in a three-year agreement that will provide Webcasts of the NJCAA’s national championship events. At least six championships will be broadcast live on PSBLive.com, with links available through the NJCAA site and participating schools.
PSBLive.com carried a number of NJCAA events over the past two years. The new partnership greatly expands the level of coverage for a variety of sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, and women’s softball. At least one football game will also be Webcast. All games will be archived on the PSBLive Website, and DVD copies will be available for purchase.
According to NJCAA Executive Director Mary Ellen Leitch, the association had previously worked with CSTV to broadcast games and championships, but “we were not able to reach the entire viewing audience. Once live video streaming became more mainstream, it provided an avenue that made so much more sense to us.”
PSB supplies all the production services as well as Web streaming for the games. “We pack up, we have our own equipment,” says PSB Live President/CEO Bill Brownell.
Usually shooting with three to six cameras, the company provides instant replay, commercial insertion, and graphics. “Our biggest challenge is making sure we have consistent Internet at every different facility,” he says. “We don’t have to worry about satellite or microwave.” PSB crews the games with local professionals and broadcasters.
Leitch sees great benefits to the Webcasts in promoting the NJCAA, member schools, and individual student athletes. “There are a number of blue-chip student athletes within the NJCAA who have already committed [to four-year colleges] and know where they are going. But there are also some students who may have been from a small hometown, may have gone to a two-year college for a variety of reasons, and weren’t quite on the radar.” Making the championships available to a national audience means “someone is going to get noticed.”